Albert Camus Speech Notes

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* Albert Camus. Born Nov 7, 1913, in French colonial Algeria. * His father was killed in World War I, at the Battle of the Marne. * He lived with his mother, and brother sharing a two-bedroom apartment with his grandmother and a paralysed uncle. * He attended the University of Algiers, supporting his education by working odd jobs. However, he was forced to drop out of school due to ill-health. * The poverty and illness he experienced as a youth greatly influenced his writing. * After dropping out of university, Camus eventually entered the world of political journalism. * During World War II, Camus went to Paris and became a leading writer for the anti-German resistance movement. He was also the editor of Combat, an important underground newspaper. * Whilst in wartime Paris, Camus developed his philosophy of the absurd. * A major component of this philosophy was Camus’s assertion that life has no rational or redeeming meaning. * Camus’s absurdist philosophy implies that moral orders have no rational or natural basis. Yet Camus did not approach the world with moral indifference, and he believed that life’s lack of a “higher” meaning should not necessarily lead one to despair. * On the contrary, Camus was a persistent humanist. He is noted for his faith in man’s dignity in the face of what he saw as a cold, indifferent universe. * Camus explains Absurdism in The Myth of Sisyphus: his famous philosophical essay on the absurd. ‘The absurd is born out of this confrontation between

The human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.’

* This view is that humanity must live in a world that is and will forever be hostile or indifferent towards them. The universe will never truly care for humanity the way we seem to want it to. * Critics of Absurdism tend to focus on two areas of the philosophy. The first is the proposition, as Camus described, that life's absence of meaning seems to remove any reason for living. * He...
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